Monday, June 28, 2010

The End of Comity in the Senate?

Here's an interesting chart over at


1. Daniel Inouye (D-Haw.) — Jan. 9, 1963

2. Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) — Jan. 3, 1975

3. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) — Jan. 4, 1977

4. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) — Jan. 4, 1977

5. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) — Dec. 15, 1978

6. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) — Dec. 27, 1978

7. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) — Jan. 15, 1979

8. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) — Jan. 5, 1981

9. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) — Jan. 5, 1981

10. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) — Jan. 5, 1981

Here's what it was just prior to the 2008 election:

1. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) — Jan. 7, 1959

2. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) — Nov. 7, 1962

3. Inouye

4. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) — Dec. 24, 1968

5. Joe Biden (D-Del.) — Jan. 3, 1973

6. Leahy

7. Lugar

8. Hatch

9. Baucus

10. John Warner (R-Va.) — Jan. 2, 1979

Anything jump out at you?

Daniel Inouye is the last of the pre-Watergate members of the Senate. This crew of legislators have been historically more cordial, collegial and often bipartisan than the gang that followed it. They were old school. Since Dodd and Specter are on their way out, the next two Senators with the most seniority are Bingaman and John Kerry.

In short order the Senate is going to be populated with elder statesmen who came of professional age in a very partisan atmosphere. This was the gang that came of age during the Robert Bork, Clearance Thomas and Iran-Contra hearings, the Culture Wars and Impeachment trials of the '90s. It'll be interesting to see if age inspires them to take up the "wise man" mantle, the kind of legislators who put the institution before party and politics.

My expectations are low.

1 comment:

Ayn It A Shame said...

If the Human Race survives long enough it would be interesting if (IF!) there were a few great minds in the future who could put some REAL perspective on the late 50s to early 70s. Something seems to have happened then, something sever and lasting. I don't think any good perspective has been gotten on it yet, just hype of some kind or another.
Or maybe it was the Civil War, a nation already too big for social cohesion internalized the big split and never glued itself back together.
Whatever the deep social undercurrents are, too many stars are born from drama, silly conflict and total bullshit. I think there are parts of the Ayn Rand "message" that people are just too scared to look at.
Either I am a complete retard, or she actually addressed guys like Glen Beck and Limbaugh and Bill O"Reilly being on the top of the heap while more intelligent and "worthy" people languish un-heard.

I don't know what else the Toohey character could have personified if not the tyranny of The Moron. But (since Morons are the experts these days) I am assured time and again that Rand must be interpreted only the one way. Toohey's are everywhere today, and just because the real Toohey was supposed to be spreading Marxism doesn't mean he couldn't have just as easily chosen the ultra-conservative agenda. It seems to me (whether Rand meant this or not) the important thing is not the ideology but the methods and behavior patterns. That is what is valuable IMO with Rand. She describes parasites like Limbaugh at the exact moment she is supposedly describing idiots on the left. But of course Beck and Limbaugh have no idea they are being described so they wave Rand around like a beacon. The Toohey character damns both sides of the political spectrum, every shitty un-imaginative pedantic college professor, every bureaucratic twit and every greed-blind business man, every crusading religious nut, and every Tea party turd. All equally. I think that's the real reason people hate Rand so much. Who cares about the politics,those are the symptoms not the disease. She portrays human nature in ways that are too painful for too many, ergo - hate.
IMO Rouark is not a Reaganite Republican yearning to be free of Slick Willy and Ma Socialism - he's the guy standing on the shore watching BP fuck it all up, and watching TV seeing all the guys in charge make a total joke of Life. Knowing instinctively there's better ways to do stuff but the mediocre minds in power won't have any of it. If you changed the character's political ideologies the behavior would still work. Selfish mediocre minds wrongfully in charge, keeping solutions at bay in order for themselves to stay in top. Yup.

Or I have a really bad attitude, and Great Men are in charge and we live in the best of all possible worlds. That must be it, now I'll just play a Miley Fuckin' Cyrus tune and dance my cares away.